Clashes erupt at Paris Gaza protest

By BBC

Pro-Palestinian protesters in France have clashed with police at a rally against Israel’s action in Gaza.

Thousands took part in the protest in Paris, despite it being banned. Some threw stones and bottles at riot police, who responded with tear gas.

The ban was imposed after protesters attempted to storm two synagogues at a similar protest last week.

Israel launched ground operations in Gaza on Thursday, after air strikes failed to stop Hamas firing rockets.

Israel says the ground offensive is necessary to target a network of Hamas tunnels.

More than 330 Palestinians have been killed since 8 July, officials in Gaza report.

During the same period, three Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed, officials say. Several Israelis have also been seriously injured.

Authorised rallies took place in many French cities on Saturday.French President Francois Hollande said the ban on the Paris protest was needed to preserve “public order” after last weekend’s clashes.

The ban, which was considered rare in France, was criticised by some activists and the Greens party.

In London, thousands of people also took part in a protest, calling for an end to Israel’s ground campaign and rocket attacks on Gaza.